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  1. News and updates for 26 February 2016
  2. Kim Cattrall slams driver after house crash
  3. Bill Turnbull bids farewell to BBC Breakfast
  4. UK to select Eurovision Song Contest entry

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

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And the Oscar goes to...

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

You'll have to wait until Sunday to find out, when we'll be back with a special live page dedicated to all the glory, glamour and excitement of Hollywood's glitziest night.

There is no shortage of punters predicting who or what will walk away with which Oscar. Take a look at what the Huffington Post, Guardian, New Yorker and Forbes think.

For now we'll sign off for the day, and the week, with this picture of the Oscars house band warming up for their main job of the evening: playing off winners whose acceptance speeches go on too long.

Leonardo, you have been warned.

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Kelly Clarkson weeps during American Idol return

Kelly Clarkson

Singer Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of American Idol, blamed pregnancy hormones for the tearful performance she gave of her song Piece by Piece as she made an emotional return to the show on Thursday.

The 33-year-old, who is expecting her second child with husband Brandon Blackstock, said she was "actually quite proud" she got as far as she did into the song before briefly pausing to regain her composure.

View more on youtube

American Idol, which airs in the UK on 4Music, is currently in the middle of its 15th and final season.

Other awards events heading our way

The Academy Awards may be the focal point this weekend, but it's hardly the only awards event taking place over the next few days.

  • France hands out its top film awards, the Cesars, on Friday, with screen legends such as Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve among those in the running for honours.
  • Saturday sees the presentation of the Spirit Awards, presented each year to independent films made for less than $15m (£10.8m). Beasts of No Nation, Carol and Spotlight are among the titles in contention.
  • Saturday also sees the Golden Raspberrys, or Razzies, handed out at a tongue-in-cheek ceremony devoted to the worst Hollywood has to offer. Fantastic Four, Fifty Shades of Grey and Adam Sandler's Pixels are among the shortlisted titles.
  • Monday sees the announcement of the nominations for this year's Oliviers, the biggest accolades in the world of British theatre. Michael Ball, host of the ceremony on 3 April, and his Sweeney Todd co-star Imelda Staunton will reveal who's in the running at 12:00 GMT.

Jameela Jamil set for acting debut

Deadline Hollywood

Jameela Jamil

She's best known as a Radio 1 DJ and T4 presenter. But now Jameela Jamil is going to make her acting debut in the US. 

She'll be starring as Tessa in new NBC comedy series Good Place, alongside Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. 

Her character has been educated in England and loves to host parties. But the central character of the show is Eleanor, played by Bell: a woman who is learning what it means to be good or bad. 

Jamil is pretty excited about it, judging by this tweet. 

View more on twitter

Read the full story.  

Perrie from Little Mix 'set herself on fire' in boiler incident

Spare a thought for Little Mix's Perrie Edwards. 

Fresh from her Brits performance with the band earlier in the week, the Black Magic singer managed to "set herself on fire" thanks to an accident with the pilot light on her boiler. 

Perrie tweeted this picture of her blistered hands and, perhaps understandably, used some pretty colourful language to describe what happened. (Consider yourself warned should you choose to follow the link.)

Perrie tweeted: "So today I had an accident... and by accident I mean I accidentally set myself on fire"

Let's hope she feels better soon. Read more on this story

Weinstein: Oscars host will 'annihilate' Hollywood

The Hollywood Reporter

Harvey Weinstein

US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has discouraged any more boycotts from this weekend's Academy Awards, telling the Hollywood Reporter that he thinks host Chris Rock will "annihilate" the industry with his opening monologue.

I just can imagine Chris Rock's opening remarks. If anybody's [planning on] boycotting the Oscars, don't, because Chris Rock is gonna annihilate every one of us in the first 20 minutes of the show, and it will be well worth watching. It will be an Oscars to remember.

Weinstein goes on to say that he does not agree with the way the Academy has gone about making changes to its practices and membership. 

He said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy president, and Dawn Hudson, its chief executive, have "their hearts in the right places" but that he opposes taking voting rights away from inactive members.

Weinstein said they were "people who've worked so hard all their lives and prize that Academy card". 

Read the full story.

The 1975 address critics in new video

Mark Savage

Music reporter

The 1975 have never been the most fashionable of bands. Their unashamed love of pop makes "serious" rock critics cringe, even while they rack up number one albums and top 10 singles.

"The tastemaker press didn't understand it," frontman Matt Healy told The Guardian. "Because we aren't a dance band, because we don't sound like the Libertines.

"I think we've got quite a post-modern attitude to the creation of music, and it's split a lot of people down the middle because they don't know how to take it."  

Now the group have decided to tackle their critics head on.

Their latest video, for The Sound, sees the quartet performing in a perspex box while achingly hip onlookers turn up their noses.

Their jibes are flashed up on screen... all of them genuine quotes from articles about The 1975.

Still image from The 1975's Sound video
Polydor Records
Still image from The 1975's Sound video
Polydor Records

It's all very meta - but it could prompt a turn-around in the band's fortunes.

Music website The Idolator has just published an article titled "I Was So Wrong About The 1975." Will others follow suit?

Watch the full video below.

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Oscar nominee Anohni explains awards boycott

Anohni, performing with Antony and the Johnsons
Getty Images

Oscar-nominated Anohni, the first transgender performing artist to be nominated for an Academy Award, says she will be boycotting this weekend's ceremony after organisers failed to asked her to perform.

Anohni, who formerly performed as Antony Hegarty in Antony and the Johnsons, is a contender for best original song for Manta Ray, from Racing Extinction.

She wrote on the Pitchfork website that she had been left "confused" by the lack of invitation, especially as fellow nominees Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and The Weeknd are set to perform. 

Anohni said she was set to board a plane to Los Angeles but was overcome by such "embarrassment and anger" she decided not to travel.

There I was, feeling a sting of shame that reminded me of America's earliest affirmations of my inadequacy as a transperson. I turned around at the airport and went back home.

As if to rub salt into the wound, the next morning the Oscars added that I was transgendered to the trivia page of their website.

Anohni said she knew the reason for her exclusion was not "directly because I am transgendered".

I was not invited to perform because I am relatively unknown in the US, singing a song about ecocide, and that might not sell advertising space. It is not me that is picking the performers for the night, and I know that I don't have an automatic right to be asked.

But if you trace the trail of breadcrumbs, the deeper truth of it is impossible to ignore.

Released in the US last September, Racing Extinction depicts the efforts of marine activist Louie Psihoyos to raise awareness about the world's endangered aquatic species.

EODM cancel rest of European tour

Eagles of Death Metal

Eagles of Death Metal have cancelled the rest of their European tour after singer Jesse Hughes injured his finger. 

The band had rescheduled dates after 89 of their fans were killed in the massacre at the Bataclan in Paris in November, part of a series of attacks across the city. 

"Hughes has tried to play through the injury during the current tour," the band revealed on their Facebook page.

"But doctors have advised that the only way to properly heal it is to stop playing now, or risk further injury and [have] to cancel several weeks' worth of shows."

The band have axed gigs in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal - the last eight shows of their European run.

Here's what Hughes himself had to say.

I'm devastated that we cannot continue what has been a life-changing return to Europe, but I need to get repaired so we can continue to play rock music around this beautiful world, including coming back to Europe even stronger in the summer.

Eagles of Death Metal are due to play at the Reading and Leeds festivals later this year.

Read more on this story.

Jenny Beavan reveals her Mad Max 'mood boards'

Jenny Beavan, the Oscar-winning costume designer whom Stephen Fry likened to a "bag lady" at this month's Baftas, has been showing the BBC around her home office ahead of this weekend's Academy Awards.

Beavan, who shared the best costume design Oscar in 1987 for her work on A Room with a View, also offered some insights into the costumes she designed for Mad Max: Fury Road, the film that has landed her another Oscar nomination.

Sony 'can't free' Kesha from contract

BBC Newsbeat

Dr Luke and Kesha
Getty Images

Sony has said it is "not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha".

The label's comment comes amid the legal dispute between Kesha, Sony and record producer Dr Luke, pictured above with the US pop singer. 

Kesha has accused Dr Luke of sexual and emotional abuse, claims he denies. 

Read more on this story.

Where to listen for the latest on the Oscars

Colin Paterson

Entertainment Correspondent, BBC Radio 5 live

Oscars statues being prepared for the Academy Awards

On Sunday, from 20:30 GMT, I will be hosting a 90-minute Oscars preview show on Radio 5 live, live from Beverly Hills. 

Nominees will be popping in on their way to the awards, wearing their tuxes and dresses while their limos are parked outside. 

Monday’s Breakfast show will feature me live from the Vanity Fair party, talking to the winners as they arrive with their Oscars in their hands. 

It's normally a lively listen. 

Two years ago on Oscars night, Russia moved troops into Ukraine. But the Daily Telegraph decided to make me the subject of an editorial for having shouted “Bono!” six times as he arrived.

Let’s see if this year I can do seven. 

“Leo! Leo! Leo!"

Why does Evelyn Waugh get mistaken for a woman?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Time magazine has had to issue a correction to an article about the 100 most-read female authors in colleges.

They conceded that "the original version of this story included Evelyn Waugh, who is a man".

Professor Valentine Cunningham, from Oxford University, told the Today programme about the long history of the author, who died in 1966, being confused for someone of the opposite gender.

Blue Peter presenter 'sore' after failed crossing bid

Lindsey Russell

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell has tweeted that she is "very sore" after attempting to cross the Irish Sea in a giant inflatable ball.

She had been attempting to "zorb" between Northern Ireland and southern Scotland to raise money for Sport Relief, but had to call off the attempt due to bad weather.

Lindsey managed to travel 17 nautical miles before the attempt was called off - an amazing achievement by any standards. 

Read more on this story.

Zayn releases sombre video for iT's YoU

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Zayn Malik video
RCA Records

Hot on the heels of his number one hit Pillowtalk, Zayn Malik has released the video for his new song, the typographically awkward iT's YoU.  

The video is an Apple Music exclusive - so you'll need an iTunes account if you want to see more than this 15-second preview.

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It's a sombre, heartbroken ballad, which some have interpreted as being about his break-up with Little Mix member Perrie Edwards.

"Am I wrong for wanting us to make it?" the singer pleads over a sparse beat, while calling out his lover for their "lies" and "selfishness".

The video features Transformers actress Nicola Peltz, whom the more excitable elements of the press are calling a Perrie look-alike.

We don't see it ourselves.

Nicola Peltz
RCA Records

Contenders for year's oddest book title revealed

Contenders for the 2016 Diagram Prize
The Bookseller

Hold on to your hats - it's time for the shortlist for the year's oddest book titles. 

The 38th Diagram Prize, organised by The Bookseller, is this year bringing us books on origami for children, interviews with twitchers and the human posterior.

Perhaps we should let them speak for themselves: 

  • Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus by Jonathan Allan (Zed Books)
  • Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with Acclaimed Birdwatchers by Mark Avery (Pelagic Publishing)
  • Too Naked for the Nazis by Alan Stafford (Fantom Films) 
  • Paper Folding with Children by Alice Hornecke, translated by Anna Cardwell (Floris Books) 
  • Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A Consideration of Cult Film by Mark Kirwan-Hayhoe (MKH Imprint)
  • Reading the Liver: Papyrological Texts on Ancient Greek Extispicyby William Furley and Victor Gysembergh (Mohr Siebeck)
  • Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig (Fuel) 

Diarist Horace Bent said this of the prize, which The Bookseller has been administrating since 1982.

I am particularly pleased with the academic bent this year. Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus is really trying to get to the bottom of its subject matter.

Meanwhile, Reading the Liver: Papyrological Texts on Ancient Greek Extispicy has become my go-to book on divining the will of the gods from the entrails of animals; I can also imagine it becoming the core text at a pop-up street food vendor in Shoreditch.

And Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space is not only a trenchant examination of cult film, but would be an excellent theme for your next fancy dress party.

The Diagram Prize has previously been won by such gems as Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (1996), Cooking with Poo (2012) and Strangers Have the Best Candy, which took the honours last year.

Read more on this story and vote for your favourite title.

Wilde about Oscars: Abrams event celebrates US-Ireland link

Our entertainment reporter Keily Oakes is in Los Angeles, from where she'll be reporting on the Academy Awards on Sunday.

She spent her first night in town at the Oscar Wilde Awards, an annual event hosted by Star Wars director JJ Abrams that recognises the special film-making relationship between America and Ireland.

Daisy Ridley and James Corden
Getty Images

Among the honorees was Star Wars star Daisy Ridley, who admitted she was feeling pretty nervous at the prospect of presenting an award on Sunday.

"Honorary Irishman'" James Corden, meanwhile, revealed how Abrams' "people" had contacted him about a possible part in The Force Awakens... only to discover later the part had been been rewritten for a woman.

Find out more in Keily's reporter's diary.

ENO 'disappointed' by choir's strike vote

ENO choir performing in February 2016

The ENO has said in a statement it is "extremely disappointed" that Equity has balloted the members of its chorus and decided to go ahead with industrial action "before undertaking serious negotiations".

Given the assurance that no action would be taken which would damage the company, we are saddened that the action that they have chosen seems specifically designed to cause the utmost harm to both the company and our audience.

The company said the choir's decision to disrupt a performance of Philip Glass's opera Akhnaten would "only undermine the pride the whole company has in its amazing work and let down every audience member who has paid to see this show."

The ENO said it was "confident" an agreement could be reached with Equity" and pledged to "find a solution which both enables us to face the reality of a £5m cut in core funding whilst protecting the artistic integrity of our work".

Martin Brown, of Equity, said the vote showed the strength of feeling among the choristers. 

The opera world is appalled that this world-class choir is facing such pay cuts. We have had fantastic support from the arts world and audiences. Some progress has been made in talks.

Read more on this story.

ENO choir votes to strike in pay and jobs dispute

Singers at the English National Opera (ENO) have voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay and jobs.

Action short of a strike will start a week today, their union Equity said.

The choir will refuse to sing in the first act of a performance on 18 March to reflect the 25% pay cut it is being asked to take. 

The 42 members of the 44-member choir who were present for the vote all backed walk-outs and other forms of industrial action. 

The choir handed in a letter to Arts Council England on Friday to outline its case and sang a song from The Mikado on the steps of the building in London. 

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All Saints get emotional on Radio 2

Mark Savage

Music reporter

All Saints
Getty Images

Reformed girl group All Saints popped into Chris Evans's Radio 2 breakfast show this morning, where they performed their comeback single One Strike live for the first time.

Then they did it again, after Evans declared: "I want to do what they do on X Factor. After the person wins, they sing again and they're all relaxed. So why don't you sing it again and just enjoy it?"

You can hear the performance(s) at two hours and 27 minutes into Chris Evans's show. They also did Pure Shores, which you can find around the two-hour mark.

Following the performance, Evans read out a stream of adoring messages for the band - prompting singer-songwriter Shaznay Lewis to burst into tears.